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My mom sent me this recently...it's just one story about a lake that for more than a couple of decades now has been "Reclaiming itself"...Click HERE to watch a Youtube video about the flooding that Devils Lake has caused in and around the small community of Churches Ferry.
This is probably my favorite picture from our November 2010 Expedition...we had
just finished the roof on the North Wing and there were already several of us up there so those remaining on the ground that wanted to climbed up for the "ROOF SHOT" from left to right:
Scotty Pounds, Steve Carson, David Butler, Ralph Wakely, Vince Rhodes and Larry Erb.
I just think it really goes to prove that you can work hard and still have a good time.
Okay let's get this November Expedition story started here. At 4:00am Thursday October 28th we headed out for North Dakota, 2 trucks 3 in each and a trailer loaded to the max once again on our truck. Tim Stiffler, Susie and myself (David Butler) in our truck and then in Scotty Pounds truck there was Vince Rhodes, Ralph Wakely and a hunting dog named Riggs (That's all I will say about this dog...and don't ask!)
Our first stop was in Milton, Wisconsin for breakfast (a neat little home town restaurant that Susie and I discovered a few years back and now every chance we get we stop). Our truck beat Scotty's there by about 15 minutes however when they called for better directions our waitress took there orders over the phone and they arrived the same time their breakfasts did.
After breakfast and a quick fill up at the station we got serious about getting up to the lodge before dark...except for Scotty's truck. They felt the need to stop at Cabela's in Minnesota so the distance between trucks was greatly increased to about 75 miles before they got back on the road. We had heard about the weather up North before we left and thought we might see some evidence of Winter and that we did in parts of Minnesota and North Dakota as well. Some pretty good piles on some hills where it drifted pretty good and also some evidence of some unfortunate drivers who found themselves spun out and into the ditches but as far as the roads and weather this day, sunny and clear all the way. We got to the Lodge just after the sun went down however there was plenty of light left to get the place un boarded and get what we needed for the night unloaded and in before night fall.
Oh yah...on the way up we made a little detour off of 94 just before entering North Dakota and had a quick visit with our good friend Butch "Superfrog" Anton who has a sign shop in Moorehead, MN...
Kelly Smeltzer and his tractor arrived Friday and we put the drill on and got after the "awfullist job in the world"...digging post holes. It sure was a big help and seriously can't thank Kelly enough for his help...and also while were are talking about the Smeltzers...Forrest and Jackie were kind enough again to allow us "Water Rights" as we borrowed at least 300 gallons this trip for showers and cleaning up
Digging was tough with the clay that is just below about 18" of good old black dirt...of course it stuck real good to the bottoms of our boots and also the post hole diggers but we got the job done and by Saturday about noon we had all 9 posts set in concrete and ready for the floor supports...that's about the same time that Steve and Larry arrived since taking off from home in Indiana after work on Friday and they had already set a goal of having the floor on and ready for a dance before bed. .
Ralph doesn't care much for this chore either but he was good about biting his tongue and getting after the chore at hand just the same.
Larry doing his plumbing thing here while others are about doing other floor building jobs.
Just one more shot of this portion of the job as a reminder of some of what went into the building of the North Wing...because sometimes it's easy to forget some of this stuff when you get beyond it.
Before the floor joist went into place we put some plastic down and also some styrofoam insulation board...that's Steve and me here in this photo.
Larry... took to bossing some of us around abit and keeping everybody honest at the same time as seen above.
Here's just a sampling of what we had to put up with when it came to working with Scotty
We all kept working on the floor until supper and then got back on it afterwards and under the flood lights we finished up and no body had much left to give so we decided to call it a day...and what a good one it was...Steve and Larry after working all day at home in Indiana on Friday....driving through the night to get up here sometime around noon on Saturday and then working the rest of the day on this portion of the project should have just passed out with exhaustion however...there was plenty of laughter coming from the bunk room hours after the lights went out.
Above... some of the progress as it happened along.
Above... even more of the same...here you can see that the insulation is in place along with Larry's plumbing and we are ready for the sub flooring..
The big top tent worked out great even though we didn't get all of the walls up it did help block some wind and kept our tools out and away from the elements...we did have some serious wind a couple of days that caused me some concerns about whether or not this thing would be able to withstand but other than a few bent poles...no problem!
It was good to have this part of the job now behind us and the thought of getting up in the morning and being able to walk on a good flat hard surface as opposed to the bumpy, sticky icky dirt that we had created all about with our diggings and such was a real treat for sure.
As you can see here it was plenty dark when we finished up the floor and it really did feel good just to stand on it that night!
from left to right: Scotty, Ralph, Larry, Steve, Vince, Tim and me...it was probably one of the coldest nights this trip although it never really got much below freezing the whole time we were up there.

Okay now that the floor is finished lets get on to the next day which would be Sunday October 31st
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